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The Peter Jackson Diaries I: Designing The Dwarves by yourparodies The Peter Jackson Diaries I: Designing The Dwarves by yourparodies
Watch Peter Jackson battle trolls, critics, purists and all kinds of dangers on his way to turn the Hobbit into a movie!

I think it's fair to say that Sir Peter Jackson is one of the most beloved directors of all time. However, he is also one of the most criticized ones, at least online.

I have to say that I NEVER saw any other director, who was critisized for literally EVERYTHING he ever did, every single little decision he made, as much as Peter Jackson seems to be. (I guess that makes him the Anti-Nolan in that aspect...)
But I guess that's what you get, when you make films for one of the most unsatisfiable of fandoms, and of course, when you make something THIS BIG and THIS SUCCESSFULL, then you get trolls and know-it-all-critics comming out of the woodwork too, so that's another thing...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that everyone who dares to dislike something is a troll or an idiot - but there were quite some "complaints" that I saw online that made me headdesk pretty hard...

NOTE: All complaints and critics potrayed in this series actually come from REAL comments I encountered online...
Yes, that means some people really said these things... But you know, what they say: You can only parody smart people - with stupid ones, it's enough to quote them... :D


Disclaimer:
The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit (c) Tolkien, New Line Cinema
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:iconthech:
TheCH Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
but that´s not how happened....
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:iconthewatcherofworlds:
TheWatcherofWorlds Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
these fans need to be more open minded
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:iconcalucifer13:
Calucifer13 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Die-hard fans are always close minded, that is the point.
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:iconalwaysforeverdreamer:
I have to admit, I didn't like the LoTR trilogy much.  My favorite scenes didn't make it into the films (like Tom Bombadil) and I think the trilogy would have benefited from being split into six films instead of just three.  The Hobbit, however, I absolutely adore.  :)  
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:iconhazewalker:
Hazewalker Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
The only thing that worries me is indecent shortness of Thorin's beard.  I bet some dwarf women have longer beards than him.
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:iconshadow-messenger:
Shadow-Messenger Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
*facepalm*
You know what? I agree with Agent Smith and Skynet. Humans need to nuked. We're worse than a virus! We're FUCKING IDIOTS!!!
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:iconpeachypuppygirl30:
PeachyPuppyGirl30 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
Indeed. :no:

(Which is kind of funny, considering that Agent Smith happens to be played by Hugo 'Lord Elrond' Weaving himself... ;))
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:iconshadow-messenger:
Shadow-Messenger Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014
Seriously, I would personally give the Ring to Sauron if I could! Here man, you can have it! These fucking Men deserve to be Orc and Troll food! All I want is a Mirkwood Spider and a Fellbeast as pets, maybe a Nazgul Sword autographed by the Witch-King and a Mace like Azog's! Also, have you ever heard of Westeros? There's some dark creatures named White Walkers and a woman with three dragons who can replace Smaug there who'd love to meet you! I also know of a place called Narnia, the Queen there would be an awesome ally for you!

Witch-King of Angmar: ...Maybe we should make him our ambassador.
Saruman: Way better than the Mouth. Cleaner teeth too, for a change!
Mouth of Sauron: HEY!
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:iconpeachypuppygirl30:
PeachyPuppyGirl30 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
...what?
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:iconshadow-messenger:
Shadow-Messenger Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
what? lol XD
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:iconthewatcherofworlds:
TheWatcherofWorlds Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014
you cannot replace the King under the mountain!!!!
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:iconshadow-messenger:
Shadow-Messenger Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
Yeah, you're right... Hey, Sauron! Can you spare Thorin? I like him! No Thorin, no deal!
Sauron: Yeah, whatever, just give me the Ring!
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:iconthewatcherofworlds:
TheWatcherofWorlds Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
:shakering: Precious!!!
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(1 Reply)
:iconvivaamerica:
VivaAmerica Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013
I love haters. They make me laugh. :rofl:
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:iconwritterartismangaka:
writterartismangaka Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Student General Artist
Seriously people, make up your mind!
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:iconkirayokime:
KiraYokime Featured By Owner May 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, people can't just sit, watch and criticize without being childish. Although, those people just make PJ more popular.
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:iconhonglong17:
honglong17 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
haha i get it, The troll do the ...trolling
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:iconjfmam:
Jfmam Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
I liked the character design in the film as a whole. It makes sense to me that the dwarves would have individual characteristics. I was particularly pleased by the warg redesign, as they really have that demonic wolf idea about them now. The orcs/goblins were good too, as was Thranduil, though I didn't expect to see him riding a deer.
One thing that I found questionable was how Dale didn't have a Nordic feel to it. Perhaps they felt it would have been to similar to Rohan.

Anyway, your comic is very funny, and it really must be hard to cater for all the Tolkien fans out there, myself included, considering all the different ideas of how his world should look. Just goes to show the popularity of Tolkien's work, I suppose.
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:iconwoodpeckery:
Woodpeckery Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:rofl:
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:iconhife:
hife Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Oh, now I get what you meant earlier. ^^"

You were right. Poor guy, they are unpleasable...
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:icongodofwar3titan:
GodOfWar3Titan Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Stuoid troll: Man this movie is TOO DAMN LONG and dragged out!! Damn you Peter Jackson!
Peter Jackson: Well then you can just watch the edited version.
Stupid troll: Man this movie is TOO DAMN SHORT and unsatisfying! It's supposed to be long like the other movies. FUCK YOU Peter Jackson!
Peter Jackson: (double facepalm)
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013
Pretty much, yeah ^_^
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:iconpurestrongpoem:
Purestrongpoem Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The movie wasn't perfect but I still thought it was good. I enjoy the movie.
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:iconaddieduck:
addieduck Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
The only thing I didn't approve of was the way they did Azog. Everything else was pretty much great.

Dwarves, no problem. Especially Kili. Mmm, definitely want some of that in my life.
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:iconaddieduck:
addieduck Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
CGI wise, that is.
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
I thought he looked awesome ^_^
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:iconspark1919:
spark1919 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist
Yes, Elrond I know.. .. it isn't fair.
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:icondawnsentinel:
DawnSentinel Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
I'm glad they changed the dwarves. You couldn't tell them apart from each other in the books except for the color of their caps.
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:iconandi-tiucs:
Andi-Tiucs Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I agree and Peter Jackson proved that dwarves can be good looking and cute!!!!
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:iconpawcioky:
PawcioKy Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dwarves are ok, but come on... how Thorin could look like this? Wasn't he oldest or something? He looks like one of the youngest in their group.
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
They made him younger in the movie though, so it's normal he looks like that. And it kinda makes sense for him to be younger, because, well...
It's a bit more believable that a king who isn't on the brink of death anyway, would try and undertake such journey. It would be a bit strange that a dwarven lord who is considered very old even by dwarven standards, would be able to pull out everything that Thorin is supposed to pull out during The Hobbit.
And it's not like his exact age was such a factor to his character anyway - the only thing about his age that is important to the story is that he needs to be old enough to have witnessed Smaug's comming, and that he did in the movie version too.

" He looks like one of the youngest in their group."
I wouldn't say that though. He's not looking that young, he even has gray in his hair, which is already a sign of him being past his prime.
Also keep in mind, that people who are older don't always LOOK older. There are people in their 60s who look like 40, and in reverse, so I think Thorin looks perfect. He is a bit more believable as a warrior/leader, then if he was even older then Balin too.
I know they're dwarves and tough 'til the end, but still... If he was older then Balin, he wouldn't be that credible in this role to be honest.
Just my two cents though.
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:icondrdeath153:
DrDeath153 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You don't think that the fact that both he and Bilbo are at a point in their lives where they're faced with a choice between doing something now or accepting their current circumstances for the rest of their days is not an important (or at least interesting) aspect to his character? I admit i read LotR first so perhaps i read more into The Hobbit than others do, but there is a big question that lies at the heart of The Hobbit's plot, and that's 'Why now?'- what was the motivation does Thorin have for embarking on this incredibly dangerous quest under such unfavourable circumstances with a plan he doesn't even agree with proposed by someone he doesn't really trust? Tolkien never gives an explicit answer, but the closest you have is Thorin's age- he's at that turning point- he's not got a wife, he's got no child, no direct relative to pass the duty of vengeance onto and he's extremely unlikely to get one in the remaining fiftyish years of his life (dwarves traditionally have children around the age of one hundred- indeed the past three or four generations of Thorin's forefathers have all had their first child at one-hundred and two) and so it's either do something now or live out the rest of his years as a blacksmith, with Smaug left high and dry on the fruits of several hundred years of dwarven labour. That's why he goes looking for Gandalf (even though he doesn't trust him), why he entertains the idea of visiting this half-wit halfling, why he settles for a company of twelve other dwarves rather than the grand army he would like- because he's running out of time- not dying, but just running out of his days of strength.

Personally i've never complained about the possibility of Gimli-clones, in fact i rather warmed to the idea. By the book there's no need for each of the thirteen to be individually characterised, no more than it would be necessary to characterise each of the spartans from '300'- they serve largely as an entity with a couple of personalities stepping out into the limelight (and i note that people rarely have a problem distinguishing them despite wearing the same identical costume, or indeed the elves- don't tell me that the same people who could pick Bret McKenzie out in a crowd have any problem with similar looking characters- it's just selective blindness =p ) I like some of what they've done- i think Nori makes for an interestingly wiry dwarf and Fili scrapes in as plausible for one of the youngest since he does actually have a beard and is not particularly 'pretty', but many of them such as Thorin, Kili, Bofur and regrettably Dwalin just look too human to 'buy' as being a different race.

To put it another way, would people be so forgiving if they cast someone short and dumpy as an elf? Hey, variety is the spice of life baby!
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
"Why now?"
Well, the way they made the dialogue between Balin and Thorin sound like, I'd say that Thorin hasn't started yesterday to try and take back Erebor, but now came the part when he was refused by everyone else, so his last resource is this company Gandalf came up with.
That doesn't mean he hasn't tried before - as a matter of fact, the film suggests that he always, since day one, wanted to reclaim it, and was always hunted by the thought of it.
And how he lost all of his other options and hopes (as he arrives in the movie, he tells that the others have refused his idea), so that's why he does it now I think. That does not nescessaraly has to do with him being too old.
Of course I'm talking about the movie version here - in the book, well, things just happen without much reason, as this was only made for Tolkien's kids, and wasn't exactly fleshed out - or even compatible with his later works in the same world.

" no direct relative to pass the duty of vengeance onto"
Well, he's got Kili and Fili though - both willing to take on such quest, as we all know, so I don't think that can be a reason.
He may not be their father, but they are pretty damn close relatives, and his heirs anyway. Therefore personally, I don't think that his age would be his main driving force to undetake such quest.

"By the book there's no need for each of the thirteen to be individually characterised, no more than it would be necessary to characterise each of the spartans from '300' "
I can see where you're comming from, but I still disagree on this, because I don' tthink that the two cases are quite the same.
Sure, not all of the 300 spartans were given a personality, but still, there was quite a few of them.
In the Hobbit, we basically only have Thorin, and even his character is pretty vague and is more like your typical children story dwarf then an actual character to be honest.
Also, if you have a relatively small group of characters, my opinion is that you should give at least some character to them, because, well, why else would you want them to be there anyway? Obviously this is not needed with a whole army that contains hundreds or thousands.
Of course I say this after looking at this as an adult, and as a fan of Tolkien's more serious, more developed works, so not saying that the same rules should be applied to a tale aimed at children.
But since The Hobbit takes place in the SAME WORLD, as the LOTR and so on, AND captures events that are not only related to the outcome of the whole Third Age, but are actually presenting highly important events, then yes, I do prefer consistency to some degree.

"and i note that people rarely have a problem distinguishing them despite wearing the same identical costume,"
But those were all people from the same profession. All warriors. From the same army. Wearing the same army's uniforms.
Here, we have a bunch of dwarves from all around the dwarfish kingdoms, so it makes sense that not all of them should dress and look alike.
After all, not all of them are high-class citizens, nor do they have the same personality. (Or at least they shouldn't have, seeing how they are all individual persons.)

"To put it another way, would people be so forgiving if they cast someone short and dumpy as an elf?"
Don't forget though that elves are the creations and choosen ones of Eru himself, so basically, good genes are to be expected with them.
So a "dumpy" elf isn't exactly the same as a Thorin-looking dwarf, who's only fault is that despite all that hair, still remains handsome ^^
A better comparison would be a short, dumpy elf and a tall dwarf, or someone like Kili. He does not look too dwarvish, I give you that, but Dwalin? I thought he looks quite credible, but then again, all of them looked fine to me, expect Kili. He needed more beard and more , well, a bit rougher facial features perhaps. Despite being handsome, Thorin has those in my opinion. I mean Richard Armitage himself is already more fitting as a dwarf then he would be as an elf for example - he has that natural dark, ruggedy, stern look that I think is great for a character who suffered and was hardened by life as much as Thorin was.

My two cents though.
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:icondrdeath153:
DrDeath153 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"Well, the way they made the dialogue between Balin and Thorin sound like, I'd say that Thorin hasn't started yesterday to try and take back Erebor, but now came the part when he was refused by everyone else, so his last resource is this company Gandalf came up with."

But with a younger Thorin he still has time to bide, plans to make- my point still stands- why that moment when everything is against him? The books (specifically lotr's appendices) make very clear that unlike Thror or Thrain Thorin wasn't driven by the same restlessness that the dwarven ring of power they held inspired in them- he plots and plans patiently but by the time he realises that his visions of grand armies are no longer feasible he's getting on and has to do something about it in the very near future- he's wasted a whole century on plans of armies that no longer exist. In the films Thorin still has years of his life to go before he gets to that desperate circumstance- sure Dain and the other dwarf lords don't support him now, but give him another quarter or half a century and maybe they'll come around. Thorin in the film's is portrayed more like he was when Thrain left on his own disastrous quest for erebor 'a great dwarf of proud bearing'- in other words in the prime of life (in fact the sentence ends '... and full manhood' in a draft, hammering the point home). Interestingly Thrain was aged 197 when he launched his own attempt on Erebor- just two years older than Thorin in The Hobbit, this hints that Thrain was too old for the task and Thorin himself may be too. Thorin certainly is characterised even within The Hobbit as losing his edge- Dori’s description of Thorin and Gandalf’s swordsmanship in the goblin tunnels certainly isn’t the work of master swordsmen ‘you nearly chopped my head off with Glamdring and Thorin was stabbing here there and everywhere with Orcrist’ and Thorin comments on his own failing eyesight in Mirkwood 'my eyes do not see as well as they used to a hundred years ago'.

His personality too is so much more that of an old man- he's cagey, crotchety, hidebound, histrionic, he acts like some grouchy old-fashioned dad to Bilbo; determined to knock some steel into his soft as mud surrogate son. The films missed that entire dynamic and in addition to the aesthetic Thorin just came across as a more arse-holeish Aragorn, a comparison that Peter Jackson doesn't seem at all interested in refuting, so rather than an interesting and independant character in his own right, Thorin has just been rendered to fill that hole (interesting that you mention tall dwarfs since the script apparently describes Thorin as 5'3" and other sources i've read put him at a minimum of 4'10.5"- they're obviously doing their best to literally big Thorin up to fill said hole).

"Well, he's got Kili and Fili though - both willing to take on such quest, as we all know, so I don't think that can be a reason."

And yet interestingly Tolkien never once makes that clear. Admittedly it's kind of a moot point since they die alongside their uncle, but it's never suggested in the novel nor the appendices of RotK that that would in fact be the case. Being descended from Durin by a female (Tolkien notes even high status dwarf females nearly never get named, which suggests they're not true 'heirs of Durin'- they would be counted as the heirs of whoever their father was, and since his name isn't recorded either it doesn't seem like he was anyone of note or nobility). The books in fact emphasise that Fili and Kili are some of the least 'loyal' (read- most open to compromise) of the dwarves to their uncle on account of their age- when it comes to the Arkenstone only them and the pacifist Bombur do not 'share Thorin's mind' on how to handle things.

“But those were all people from the same profession. All warriors. From the same army. Wearing the same army's uniforms.
Here, we have a bunch of dwarves from all around the dwarfish kingdoms, so it makes sense that not all of them should dress and look alike.”

I agree to an extent- I wouldn’t ask for Gimli ‘clones’ in a literal sense, but merely to keep within the Gimli oeuvre- Dori for example- his costume maintains the rich earthy shades we associate with the dwarves, while introducing different elements like the big mantle on his shoulders and the chorded jerkin, while his makeup and hair is absolutely unique (the beard could be a touch longer, but if he’d stop tucking the lower half away I’d be content), a faintly eastern flavour to his hair- still a dwarf, still lumpy, squat and grizzled looking but you’d have to be blind to mistake him for Gimli. Bifur is another distinctive character and for more than just the axe in his head (which I actually rather like); the black and white striped beard, the mustard yellow colour to his costume. I could do without the Nikki Sixx hair, but hey ho (or heigh-ho depending on your preferences). Gloin and Oin naturally also have my approval. I don’t see the need for the dwarves to be flung to the extremes of aesthetics just because they’re dwarves. To be honest I think there’s a bit of an issue with the costume designer- although Ann Maskrey is a fine costume designer, I don’t think she’s quite as clever in her abilities as Ngila Dickson- she seems to have fallen into a number of traps in designing the dwarves’ costumes that someone with a bit more nous might not have such as the use of shaggy formless furs to give them a barbarian styling as well as lowering the beltlines to make them seem shorter (Gimli’s by comparison was actually very high, giving him more of a ‘barrel chested’ look and avoiding the cliché of dwarves appearing to have stubby legs). There’s also one glaring anachronism which has nothing to do with the dwarves- Bilbo has a modern zip-fly on his trousers.

“Sure, not all of the 300 spartans were given a personality, but still, there was quite a few of them.”

Leonidas, The Captain, Dilios, Stelios and the captain’s son- Astinos(?) if I remember correctly. Translated I suppose you could identify them as Thorin, Balin, Dori and Fili and Kili (or Bombur if you want to lump Fili and Kili in as a single entity). Arguably Dori (who has more lines than most in the book) could be replaced with Gloin on account of being Gimli’s father and thus another link between the two stories, although Gloin was never really emphasised in the film, not even getting his big speech in Bag End about Bilbo’s suitability. Whichever way you slice it, that’s still only five characters, possibly six counting Fili and Kili as one, less than half the company. And I don’t see this as a failing on Tolkien’s part- rather he was exercising something that Peter Jackson seems to have forgotten the virtue of- focus. The dwarves have their cute rhyming names not only as a matter of whimsy, but also so you don’t have to characterise each and every one of them- they are a gestalt entity, a chorus who represent a variety of shared opinions. If you read the hobbit it’s remarkable how many lines either spoken or narrated are attributed to ‘the dwarves’ as a body, a couple of names might be mentioned as ‘spokesmen’ for the group, but generally Tolkien narrates a consensus with only the exceptions (if any) identified as individuals. What this means is that he doesn’t have to justify within the non-existent ‘character arc’ of each individual member of the company why they feel that way and so can focus on the decisions and personalities of those characters who do stand out, such as Thorin and Balin. It’s also a point of characterisation for Bilbo’s sense of alienation among the dwarves- he can’t tell the difference between them either- to him they’re just this posse of hulking warriors. The comparison I like to make is that he’s the head of the chess club or debating society who’s been dropped into the rugby team- to him all these guys are just scary head-splitters and it takes him a very long time before he can even identify individual features. Trying to render each dwarf as an individual personality is both thankless and pointless- reviews have already noted how despite their varied looks most couldn’t identify one dwarf from another. Far better to keep the focus small and let those who aren’t pivotal to the plot fall into the background than spread the film’s time and the audience’s attention too thin by trying to develop all thirteen of them. And let’s not forget it’s already a pretty expansive ensemble cast, the focus should probably stay on the major personalities- Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Balin, Elrond, Gollum, Thranduil, Bard, Dain, Smaug, The Necromancer (since he is a larger part of the film’s story) and Bolg- twelve personalities, before you even start to consider the other major players in the white council (or indeed Beorn).
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
"he's wasted a whole century on plans of armies that no longer exist. "
That's the same in the movie too, despite him being younger.

"sure Dain and the other dwarf lords don't support him now, but give him another quarter or half a century and maybe they'll come around. "
Given the stubborness of dwarves, and the danger of the quest, that's highly unlikely though, so yes, even movie Thorin is at a dead end that's not likely to change.

"The films missed that entire dynamic and in addition to the aesthetic Thorin just came across as a more arse-holeish Aragorn"
I pretty much felt the opposite - he felt more of an asshole in the book to me. I didn't really get the feel from book Thorin that he is a true leader who's worth following (and yet you would have to be one, if I'm supposed to believe that there are any who would follow you against a freakin' dragon...).
I don't get the Aragon comparrison either. He never felt like Aragorn to me at all, they are quite different and only similar in the fact that both were destined to be kings of a fallen empire. But personality-wise they both differ quite a bit - no matter if movie or book.

"they're obviously doing their best to literally big Thorin up to fill said hole"
You're reading a bit - or a lot ^^ - into it. Thorin is relatively tall because Richard Armitage is tall, and seeing how Bilbo's size compared to him sets his size too... It's normal that he is big compared to a dwarf.
I mean it's not like they made him huma size... -_-

"when it comes to the Arkenstone only them and the pacifist Bombur do not 'share Thorin's mind' on how to handle things."
but they were still willing to undertake such dangerous journey, so it's not like they aren't supporting him in the big picture, and that's what would matter to Thorin, because what happens later he cannot know, ain't that so?
Granted, they are sons of Thorin's sister, not a brother, but still, if Thorin wanted an heir who's willing to continue this quest, there was two of them.
Differences between their opinion would only surface during the journey, but he wouldn't know those beforehand, now would he?

" Whichever way you slice it, that’s still only five characters, possibly six counting Fili and Kili as one, less than half the company"
That's not my point.
If you have an army of hundreds, you can choose how many of them you want to "use" as characters.
But if you only have around a dozen, which is a small group, then why not flesh them out? What's the point of having 13, if you'll only use 2 or 3 with the rest of them being totally not needed at all as they don't do or say anything, nor do they have a personality?
There's a reason why there are 300 in the movie, despite only few of them having "faces", but why have 13 dwarves (which is a small amount), if you're not gonna use them?

"What this means is that he doesn’t have to justify within the non-existent ‘character arc’ of each individual member of the company why they feel that way and so can focus on the decisions and personalities of those characters who do stand out, such as Thorin and Balin. "
This works fine from a kids point of view, but as an adult, I like to know a bit more about the characters. I don't want them to be just a bunch of stand-arounds who say "yup, we agree".

"It’s also a point of characterisation for Bilbo’s sense of alienation among the dwarves- he can’t tell the difference between them either- to him they’re just this posse of hulking warriors."
I see where you're comming from, but I'm just not a big fan of this generalization. Bilbo's triumph in earning their respects also holds more value in my eyes, when he earns the respect of people - not just a "chorus" of faceless dwarves.

"Trying to render each dwarf as an individual personality is both thankless and pointless"
Maybe thankless, but I disagree with the pointless part.

" reviews have already noted how despite their varied looks most couldn’t identify one dwarf from another. "
Reviews tend to point out stupid senless shit, so I couldn't care less what they say to be honest.

"Far better to keep the focus small and let those who aren’t pivotal to the plot fall into the background"
I agree to some extent. I'm not saying that all 13 of them have to have a full personal journey, like members of the fellowship had (because, well, it's a different type of story and a different type of company), but still, having zero personality is an option I do not agree with, even if it's a convienient tool to empasize Bilbo's fish-out-of-the-water situation.
Yes, it establishes the fact quick, what dwarves generally think, how they are, etc, but I wouldn't really be invested in their journey, if I felt they were just "background decoration" or plot devices instead of real people with real feelings.
For example, Bofur's little scene with Bilbo - it wasn't long, it wasn't overly complicated either, but it got the point across that these are PEOPLE. Not just plot devices. And it made me care and root for them a lot more then I ever did in the book.
Which is an approach that I'm sure will make the deaths of certain characters have a bit more meaning and weight too.
I mean in the book when Fili and Kili died, I couldn't care less - I knew pretty much nothing of them, they were just "extras" walking with the main crowd.
And it's never a good idea to kill one of the "heroes", when you don't give your audience any reason to feel sorry about their untimely demise.
My opinion, of course.
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:iconajajai:
ajajai Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Movie Thorin provides us with a movie reason for why the quest needs to happen when it does. Because Smaug has been dormant for so long (60 years) others are starting to think it might be worth a visit to Erebor.

Erm, yes, the comic strip is also good! After seeing Part II I had to find Part I too.
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:icondrdeath153:
DrDeath153 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"I pretty much felt the opposite - he felt more of an asshole in the book to me. I didn't really get the feel from book Thorin that he is a true leader who's worth following (and yet you would have to be one, if I'm supposed to believe that there are any who would follow you against a freakin' dragon...).
I don't get the Aragon comparrison either. He never felt like Aragorn to me at all, they are quite different and only similar in the fact that both were destined to be kings of a fallen empire. But personality-wise they both differ quite a bit - no matter if movie or book."

Yeah, Thorin is an arsehole in the book, but i didn't say the film's Thorin was an arsehole in comparison to the book's Thorin, i said he was an arsehole in comparison to Aragorn. And don't tell me you can't see the similarities with Aragorn, both visually and thematically. In the film he's practically a dead-ringer- Tall dark and brooding, close-cropped face-fungus (Thorin admittedly sports something closer to Aragorn's coronation beard than the stubble Aragorn usually sports), long coat, starts the film with a sword as his primary weapon before upgrading to a two-hander (they gave Thorin an axe but it seems to be his second choice).

In terms of character they've softened him, made him rather more 'touchy feely' as we see in the climax of AUJ- the Thorin from the book had yet to start talking directly to Bilbo at that point, let alone showing such open affection as hugging him (which in itself is pretty undwarvish- Tolkien's writings reveal just how stand-offish dwarves are in expressing emotions). He's less officious and formal in the films further 'modernising' him. The change to his age impacts on his position in relation to other characters- i've mentioned the loss of the parental attitude he has to Bilbo (another review, if you'll excuse my reference to them identified the relationship in the film being like a cool older brother being lumbered with a dorky younger and never missing a chance to embarrass Bilbo to seem big, so you can see the clear generational shift in how their relationship plays out), it also puts him as a more Aragorn-esque inexperienced ruler, when in fact Thorin has been ruling (albeit in exile) for a century. His relationship with Gandalf and Balin is also changed- whereas in the book he's the generational 'equal' of both of them in the same way Theoden and Denethor are the equal, meaning Gandalf has to tread carefully around them, in the film Thorin is more the inexperienced wannabe who is frequently 'spoken down to'- Gandalf frequently chastises him like a rebellious son (their slanging match when they're attacked by Wargs outside the troll cave shows this- Gandalf yells at Thorin like a child, doesn't believe Thorin's word and presses him to 'swear' he's telling the truth about not telling anyone). Thorin doesn't command the same effortless authority he does in the book. Whereas before he's almost a competing mentor figure to Bilbo next to Gandalf, the film makes it all 'grandpa knows best', whereas in the book part of the message is how sometimes grandpa can be too staid in his ways and it takes someone with a more open mind to solve problems.

"You're reading a bit - or a lot ^^ - into it. Thorin is relatively tall because Richard Armitage is tall, and seeing how Bilbo's size compared to him sets his size too... It's normal that he is big compared to a dwarf.
I mean it's not like they made him huma size... -_-"

Well 5'3" is as tall as Daniel Radcliffe and Al Pacino so it depends on what you mean by 'human size' :P . And the fact is that Thorin was written as that size even before they cast Richard Armitage- they were specifically looking for someone who would read as tall in respect to their pint-sized characters. Reading too much into something is merely the reverse of being too naive, and i think that it's fairly obvious that the choices regarding Thorin were made to make him more of an acceptable hollywood action hero than out of any fidelity to the character in the book. The greatly reduced beard is another strong piece of evidence for this- Dwarf beards are notoriously long (Tolkien actually described them as longer than even i would have the nerve to go on grounds of realism, including beards that stretch down to the dwarves' feet) and the length of Thorin's is regularly referred to in the book. In addition he's king of the longbeard clan, but because long beards are not currently considered a 'cool' look, it's been trimmed down to that little facehugger. It's not to make him look distinctive (if you look at the artbook, the designs Weta did for Thorin's beard were certainly readily recognisable), but so he could fit that mould of what people expect a Middle-earth action hero to be.

On the point about the optimum number and development of characters in a company, well that is more open to debate. Like i said in my last post, there are more than enough central characters all vying for development time before you get to the dwarves and so the dwarves as individuals come pretty low on the list of developmental priorities. The official movie guide reveals that Peter Jackson asked Stephen Hunter if he didn't mind not having so many lines compared to other members of the cast, and i think he should probably have asked most of the other dwarves the same question. I think the key to developing them is being clever and specific about which dwarves have what reaction to what the main characters are saying, and generally paying attention to the details. For example you've got that scene where Gandalf explains how the dwarves took wagers on whether he'd show up- by being canny about which dwarves are throwing the purses of money and which are catching them, you have effectively a 'straw poll' of who Bilbo's believers are. Bofur's big monologue by comparison, while very sweet, i think is too much focus on what is ultimately a background dwarf. An analogous scene in Fellowship where Boromir confronts the ring by comparison is fantastic because he was one of the major players in that film and in a very short space of time it managed to convey so much about him.

Also don't dismiss the value of a silent majority- take a look at the council of Elrond scene in the film and compare it to say the last debate or the white council from the new film. In the film, the council of Elrond is composed of say 20 individuals- not exactly 300's 300, and yet of them only main characters have any dialogue (and there's not many of them- Sam, Merry and Pippin are missing and although Frodo is there he barely says a word). Despite that it seems much grander and more significant than just those six characters (Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Boromir) speaking. Turn the clock forward and you've got the last debate with Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli Gandalf and Eomer talking in an otherwise empty room and it seems oddly unsatisfactory- like just a bunch of mates deciding the fate of the world rather than a formal council of war. The Council of Elrond shows that you can get a lot of milage out of a lot of people saying nothing specific at all (and in fact that you don't even have to speak or have a different haircut/costume to half the others to be zeroed in on by fangirls like a totty-seeking missile- i'm looking at you Bret McKenzie (i still have trouble spotting him when watching the film)). If the company of dwarves in the hobbit was treated in a similar way, over nine hours of storytelling you would get a fair idea of where individual dwarves stand on any given issue without having them biting into the development of major characters.
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
„. And don't tell me you can't see the similarities with Aragorn”
Not really, but then again I’m not fond on forcing similarities between the two sagas. But even beyond that, to me they are quite different.

„Tall dark and brooding”
Aragorn isn’t that tall, and he’s much more positive, open and friendly then Thorin tends to be.

„close-cropped face-fungus ”
So they both have a beard. Du-hu. Not to offend you, but this seems really forced of a comparrison. In these middle-age type of stories, most mature men tend to have beards…

„ long coat,”
Thorin’s made of fur, Aragorn’s quite different… You’re really pushing these comparrisons.

„In terms of character they've softened him,”
They made him bit more complex from the hard-headed, greedy, close-minded, arrogant person to a still hard-headed, still somewhat arrogant, still somewhat-closeminded person, who is shown to have his heart in the right place, but rarely shows it due to all the terrible things he witnessed in life.
Keep in mind , that we mostly only see his „softer” side, when he is alone with Balin, so from Bilbo’s view, yes, he is a cold-hearted, arrogant bastard still for 99% of the time, expect the end.

„the Thorin from the book had yet to start talking directly to Bilbo at that point, let alone showing such open affection as hugging him „
Considering what they just went through is pretty understandable though. And it shows that despite being hard-headed, Thorin isn’t outright retarded and blind to everything, even if he is less rational then, say, Balin.

„which in itself is pretty undwarvish- Tolkien's writings reveal just how stand-offish dwarves are in expressing emotions)”
Less underdwarfish then most of them act in the book though, being constantly pushed around like jokes and not even trying to fight back on occations. Not exactly the proud and mighty dwarves from his more serious Middle-Earth works…
As for a hug, it’s true that dwarves are a bit more… well… stern? Then some species, but they aren’t completetely dead inside.
And keep in mind, that Thorin has just seen his granfather’s killer alive, learned that his father was indeed killed by him – or so Azog bosted - , then he nearly died, got saved by an unlikely ally, then next thing he wakes up to is his beloved Kingdom in the distance. Understandable, if he has an emotional moment.
It shows that he isn’t just an old, grumpy, greedy asshole, totally blind to truth – which would pretty much kill anyone’s interest in his fate to be honest. I mean really, this isn’t even the first time Bilbo saved them OR did something highly impressive they themselfs couldn’t do, so…. Yeah…
It’s a bit more credible then „fuck you bilbo. Oops, imma die, I like you now”.
I always liked how in Tolkien’s stories people could change slowly over the course of things, but The Hobbit and Thorin’s character certainly lacked that aspect, so I’m glad the movie approaches it a bit more complexly.

„another review, if you'll excuse my reference to them identified the relationship in the film being like a cool older brother being lumbered with a dorky younger and never missing a chance to embarrass Bilbo to seem big, so you can see the clear generational shift in how their relationship plays out”
I can’t agree with this one bit.
Thorin acts like someone who – not without a reason though – thinks that hobbits are not cut out for adventures, and therefore are useless to his quest. Not some „cool big brother” or some shit. Reviewers like that are who „modernise” things, not the film itself… -_-

„it also puts him as a more Aragorn-esque inexperienced ruler, when in fact Thorin has been ruling (albeit in exile) for a century.”
How exactly? And again that Aragorn comparrison… They behave quite differently. Thorin gives orders as someone who’s used to it and has a hard time accepting when Gandalf talks into his businesses.
Aragorn, ont he other hand, while pretty capable of giving orders, he often presents those as advise, and isn’t as self-assured and coldly commanding, as Thorin is. He is also much more open and nice to the people around them, more like a friend, then a stern, grimm king.
And when he recieves counsil from Gandalf, or others, he welcomes it and is thankful for it, while Thorin is rather on the opposite side of the coin.
You’r really looking for simlilarities between the two even when there is little.

„n the same way Theoden and Denethor are the equal, meaning Gandalf has to tread carefully around them, ”
First off, noone in the mortal world is Gandalf’s generational equal, so I don’t quite see your point.
Second, age has nothing to do with why Gandalf treads carefully around those two. It’s their position as rulers, not their age that makes Gandalf be more careful around them. And the fact that he needed both of them on his side.

„ in the film Thorin is more the inexperienced wannabe who is frequently 'spoken down to'- ”
I’d hardly say „inexperienced” and even less „wannabe” – he is a dwarven lord through and through. But he is also very stubborn – a common thing for dwarves - , and very proud, and not found of elves - which is not fully ungrounded in reason.
Pretty much everytime Gandalf „talks down” to him, is when elves are involved, or when he thinks lesser of Bilbo then Gandalf does (which he does in the book too).
However, the movie also portrays him as very experienced, and a good leader – keep in mind, that Thorin was a fine leader in battle and according to Balin, he made them a home afterwards in the Blue Mountain, so you can’t call him unexperienced and even less a wannabe. He may be arrogant, but then again, he kind has reason to be proud, and yet, he is still hounted by the shadow of failure due to Erebor, and I can see how that would turn pride into arrogance over the years. If you’re born to be the grandson of the mighties king around, then you loose everything, have to fight your way through everyone, sacrifise many, but still manage to give a new home to your brethren, and yet people still look down on you and won’t help you, it’s rather realistic that he would turn bitter and arrogant.
But I’m wondering off here. Pont is – he only gets schooled when elves are involved – because his hate for them clouds his judgement. Or when Bilbo is involved – which is just like the book and at the beginning, understandable too.
In no way did those things make him look like an unexperienced wannaba however.
As for age, again – being an old dwarf would still not make him Gandalf’s equal , not even his generational equal. Gandalf is a demigod walking around Middle Earth for thousands of years and existing since the dawn of time basically.
So even the oldest dwarf or even the oldest elf would be a mere child compared to him, or to any other Maiar.

„ Thorin doesn't command the same effortless authority he does in the book.”
He commands plenty of authority amongst the dwarves and Bilbo – even Dwalin, who isn’t shown to pay much respect to anyone, talks about him and looks at him (at the cliff after the flashback) like he’s an unquestioned leader.
As for Gandalf, he shouldn’t have „effortless authority” next to Gandalf. Thorin may be a king, but Gandalf is a freaking maiar.
And correct me if I’m wrong, but even in the book, old G gets away with pushing Bilbo on Thorin’s back, so to say, even though Thorin is quite frankly not in agreement with him about Bilbo, and yet, he takes him along despite these feelings, so hardly an effortless authority between the two even there.

„whereas in the book part of the message is how sometimes grandpa can be too staid in his ways and it takes someone with a more open mind to solve problems. ”
And how is that not what happens in the movie?
Bilbo shows that his open mind can be quite useful in most situations they encounter. Just like in the book… It’s the exact same message as in the book, only that Thorin at least gets a clue that Bilbo might not be completely useless – even if he won’t admit it yet - , unlike in the book where he remains completely ignorant to it, which is kinda hard to swollow as an adult.

„Well 5'3" is as tall as Daniel Radcliffe and Al Pacino so it depends on what you mean by 'human size'”
Really? Pachino is THAT small? I knew he wasn’t tall, but that still seems off… :-o I mean when Thorin stands next to normal sized people, he appears very small, so I’m not sure if that 5’3 is the same as the movie shows. (But then again, John Rys-Davies was quite tall too…)

„they were specifically looking for someone who would read as tall in respect to their pint-sized characters.”
Well, tall compared to a dwarf is ok. Just don’t make him reach beyond that. That would be stupid.

„and the length of Thorin's is regularly referred to in the book.”
You can’t really pull that off onscreen though, considering that they run around and fight quite a bit. (Aside from it being a tiiiiiiiiny bit funny too…)

„It's not to make him look distinctive (if you look at the artbook, the designs Weta did for Thorin's beard were certainly readily recognisable”
Well with the brided beard he kinda looked more like Khal Drogo, so I can see why they abandoned that idea though :D

„ but so he could fit that mould of what people expect a Middle-earth action hero to be.”
Gimli had a bigass beard. He was one of the most popular middle-earth action heroes. : )

„the dwarves and so the dwarves as individuals come pretty low on the list of developmental priorities”
It’s their quest though. If you don’t make the audience attached to them, you’ll have a hard time ocnvincing anyone that the main plot matters much.
Sure , Bilbo is the 1st character, but if all he does is proove himself to a bunch of faceless extras running around the hill, then that in my opinion cheapens his achievements too.

„Bofur's big monologue by comparison, while very sweet, i think is too much focus on what is ultimately a background dwarf”
If that’s already „too much”, then I dare not fathom what’s appropriate… ^^
And again I have to disagree, because not only did that scene give Bofur more character, but it also gave much more meaning to the whole quest in such a little space of time by really showing that these are people who have lost their homes, instead of just a bunch of greedy bastards out for loot, or some wannabe heroes looking for glory, as it might seem to some.
And in addition to that, it also gave Bilbo a good reason to stay and help them, beyond his initial motive of looking for adventure. (Which is great, as he is part Tuk, but let’s be real, if you want any hobbit to go up against a fuckin’ dragon, you better have a damn good reason for it.)
Plus, it also shows that Bilbo isn’t only there to „show off” that he can be useful, or that he wants to fulfill his desire for adventure, but he also has a good heart , as he is willing to risk so much just to help others.
It’s also very believable that this thought would make Bilbo stay, because, well, for the first time in his life, he is far from home, and he learns what it means to be homesick, even though he still thinks he will make it back so it’s only temporarly. So the thought of these dwarves loosing their homes permanently must be a devastating thought to Bilbo, as to him, this must be the worst thing that can happen to a man.
So in my opinion, that scene was a stroke of genius, as it conveys so much in so little time.

„In the film, the council of Elrond is composed of say 20 individuals- not exactly 300's 300, and yet of them only main characters have any dialogue (and there's not many of them- Sam, Merry and Pippin are missin”
While I agree that those silent people give an extra weight to the scene, I’d like to point out that comparing them and the company of dwarves isn’t exactly a fair comparrison.
We don’t see those people in the Counsil later on – we don’t have to care much about them. They aren’t there for most of the story. They don’t play a large part, they are only a footnote and nothing more.
So it’s ok that we do not know much about them. As for their looks, well in their case, it actually helps that they look similar (and given that these are people all of high social class, it does make sense that they look similar), because that way the audience can tell right away who is from which party.
On The Hobbit’s behalf, howerver, we have a small group of the same race, but from all across their lands, some warrirors, some lords, a king, toymakers, cooks, etc…
And these people play a large part, they are there all the time, their whole quest is the focus of the story.
So I wouldn’t really compare the structure of the counsil of Elrond to the company of dwarves for reasons named above.

„i still have trouble spotting him when watching the film”
Never doubt the power of girls picking up on a pretty face ^^
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:icontheflyingbeet:
TheFlyingBeet Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
OMG. :lmao:

PRICELESS. :clap:
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:iconrayofson:
RayofSon Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
dont forget George Lucas....he was so harassed by his "fans" that he sold his creation and probably wont be able to create another film ever again....even though he was brilliant.....i hope people dont do that to Peter, it would be a shame.

on another note, i love the designs for them...it helps me remember who is who lol!
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:iconevolvana:
Evolvana Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012   Digital Artist
I'm so happy he made these designs for the dwarves of the Hobbit. Because in the book they're more like the dwarves in "Snowhite and the 7 dwarves" and it would have been a bit ridiculous to see little fat dwarves all looking like Gimli in the movie.

Of course there can be handsome dwarves, I don't know why the purists always want ugly dwarves with big noses just because Gimli was like this.

I think Kili may have a face that looks a bit too human, but Fili and Thorin look like handsome dwarves, and that's cool. They have noble traits and a royal blood, that's normal :)
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:iconamberanime:
amberanime Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
Am I weird for thinking Gimli wasn't ugly?  I think that look suited him.  He wont win the award for best looking dwarf, but he still holds a special place in my heart. And though I agree that the dwarves in the book where kind of boring (in description) and I am glad they do not look all like clones, I would have liked to see a little more beard on thorin. He is the oldest after all an dhad a huge beard in the books.  It didn't have to be huge now, but now he doesn't have anything almost. I am fine with Fili, he has a small beard and is a young dwarf. Kili should have had a small beard to though, now he looks like a little human.

Though teh fangirls would kill me. Lol.  I adore fili and kili. But the dwarf fans are not all wrong about their complaints on this one.   Doesn't make me love the dwarfs any less though. I didn't care for them in the books, seeing as they had no personality whatsoever (besides thorin who was not very pleasent..) The movie does a much better job at this! I like the movie better then the book so far. I do Hope we get to see more of book Thorin's darker side though.
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:iconevolvana:
Evolvana Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013   Digital Artist
They say it's because Thorin cut his beard because he was "ashamed" that he lost Erebor, and he want to grow it back again when he takes Erebor.

But in fact it's just because he looks better with a shorter beard and we can see better his facial expressions I guess ^^ yes according to the book he should have a longer beard... but as it looks pretty cool the way he is in the movie, I don't complain :)
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:iconamberanime:
amberanime Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013
Fair enough, Movie Thorin is much more fun to look at. :)
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Agreed. Kili is the only one I'm a bit bothered with too. Fili however is in my opinion a fine example of a young dwarf.
And Thorin, well, he was freaking brilliant in the movie, so yeah, no need to add anything :) (He also felt much more complex to me than the book version to be honest)
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:iconcursedfreak:
CursedFreak Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ugh, Kili, yes. It's pretty obvious that he has been designed to be the "Legolas" of the group (a.k.a. the handsome one for all the silly fangirls to fall for and write their Mary Sue fanfics... I'm afraid it has already begun)
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:iconyourparodies:
yourparodies Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
Though to be honest, I liked the way the character acted, just didn't like the way he looked. A bit more beard like Kili had would have been nice to see on him in my opinion, but other then that, he was fine with me.
Especially liked his entrance, it was hillarious ^_^
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:iconamberanime:
amberanime Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
Agreed.  Young dwarves do not need huge beards. But fili looks like a genuine young dwarf. A good looking young dwarf, but a dwarf none the less. Kili looks like a little human..  Shame for the dwarfes really, that the one who is called the hottest dwarf by most doesnt look like one :P  Oh the irony.
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:iconloaym:
Loaym Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student General Artist
I thought the same thing, though I recently saw someone mention that his lack of beard went with the role as an archer the film gave him, because of the way you have to bring the end of the arrow up to your face and any hair hanging from the mouth/chin area could cause a big problem. I don't know enough about archery to argue for it but it's food for thought?
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:iconcursedfreak:
CursedFreak Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh, yeah, his attitude was great, that's why I could tolerate that they had gone with that character design. :)
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